2016electionAre we ready for a plethora of primary elections? Constant media coverage? Robo calls? A reminder if we are in a dedicated “Red” State or “Blue” State? More information about the personal lives of a bunch of candidates from both sides? Accusations and name calling? Lots of TV debates? And lots of verbal discussions amongst your friends?


2016 is under way. Many are already turned off by the whole political scene. But, there are some analogies here. Many clubs are telling the same story without highlighting points of differentiation. Typically, the media is full of new stories or advice about exercise, diet and the “new you.” Lots of research studies are emerging about exercise or diets, so the average adult is being inundated already. And it’s only early in January.


The Presidential Election process has some lessons for us. They are strong in setting overarching goals and then setting specific sub-goals. They are creating playbooks (like professional football) with tactics and detailed messaging. They are organizing by state and key cities. They are polling and doing regular research. The analogy is perfect for the gym owner and operator. Goals, sub-goals and tactics need to be created. Ideally, they should have been before the start of this year. The tactics should be broken down by department and area of the gym. Detailed and measurable yardsticks must be created now if the gym is to monitor its progress all 12 months of the year.


The gym needs a game plan to “win” by year end. It needs 2-3 specified tactics per each department and 3-5 overall gym goals. These need to be realistic and achievable. They should include one or more “reach” goals, so that the staff needs to come together to make a challenging objective truly achievable.


We will elect a new President in November, 2016. You need to achieve a “win” by December 31, 2015. We may learn some lessons from the political world to help us in our own industry.

Rick Caro
Rick Caro 
President & Founder
Management Vision

Rick Caro is the President of Management Vision, Inc., a leading consulting firm specializing in the club industry. Management Vision is widely regarded for its feasibility studies, business plans, loan proposals, valuation of the worth of clubs, assistance in the buying and selling of clubs, operational analyses of existing clubs and financial acumen. Management Vision has experience with small and large-sized clubs, single activity and multi-sport facilities, suburban and urban sites, owned and leasehold properties and start-up and take-over business situations all over the U.S. and other countries.

Rick Caro is a 38-year veteran of the club industry. He previously was the owner of an eight-club organization of multi-sport clubs in the Northeast U.S. which he successfully sold in 1983. Over the last ten years, he has consulted to over 1,500 clubs. Mr. Caro was the Founder, Past President and Director of IHRSA (International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association), the trade association of over 9,750 clubs in over 78 countries. He is a frequent writer for various trade publications and the author of the book, Financial Management, targeted for the club industry. He is also a well-known lecturer for the industry.